CE Class Builds Cultural Competence

“What do you think of when you hear the word ‘culture’? For me, it’s  a yellow school bus and here’s why….” And the stories begin.

It’s been five years since the DYNAMICS OF CROSS-CULTURAL MINISTRY class was introduced at SACEP (Salvation Army Continuing Education Program). Each May, we host a class for officers and ministry leaders from Olivet Nazarene University. On the first day of class, we share a quote that has guided our teaching: ‘For the one who dares to teach must first be a learner.’  The class is a living laboratory for things cultural and we encourage the students to be teachers and learners together.

Twenty six officers from the CENTRAL territory attended the 2014 class–a total of 110 participants since the class began in 2010. We discussed many different topics including the multiethnic church, immigration, culture and cultural values, cross-cultural communication, identity formation, leadership & power, race, multicultural counseling, and overseas ministry. Each day began with a KALEIDOSCOPE Bible Study (developed by Eric Law, author of  THE WOLF SHALL DWELL WITH THE LAMB, and throughout each day participants presented cultural assessments based on their organization’s, socioethnic, or generation’s culture. Special guests closed the week by sharing the challenges and the joys of their cross-cultural overseas experiences. The week was filled with engaging questions, stimulating discussions, and mutual learning.

GROUP 1